Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ohio Liberal Arts College Deaccessions to the Tune of $1.4 Million

A Roy Lichtenstein and works by Whistler were donated to Baldwin-Wallace College decades ago, but few saw them until they hit the auction block last March.

With a small storage space on the Berea, Ohio college campus, the artwork was at risk.

"We were one sewer backup from having the collection destroyed," said spokesman George Richard. "It would be irresponsible for us to do not do something." "They were quality pieces, but we had trouble preserving and maintaining them," said Richard. "We had obligations to protect it."

Protecting it by way of selling it to the highest bidder.

These donated pieces to Baldwin-Wallace were like cash under a mattress. Of the $1.4 million, $100,000 was placed as an endowment for the college art department and the rest will fund capital improvements.

College President Richard Durst said selling the collection was the right thing to do.

"It is a shame when you have works of art that nobody ever sees," Durst said. "Art is supposed to be used by people who appreciate it. There was never that opportunity here."

Though it seems as though Baldwin-Wallace appreciated the opportunity to use the art.